Sunday, July 20, 2008

Morning tea shout

We are in the midst of building a new house and to fuel the builders morning tea was promised! I produced two standard favourites which I knew would appeal to anyone's tastes, Cheese scones and Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake. The cheese scones were a bit of a throw together, a departure from my usual scone recipe, which uses cream and lemonade. Fortunately they turned out well, and there were plenty to go around (enough to have with soup for dinner too!).
Cheese and Mustard Scones
4 c SR flour
2 tsp BP
1 tsp salt
50 g cold butter
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 egg
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 cups grated cheese
milk to mix
Preheat oven to 210C. Put dry ingredients into bowl and grate in butter and work through flour mix. Add grated cheese and parsley. Lightly beat egg with mustard and add to mix with enough milk to form a slightly wet dough, taking care not to over mix. Turn onto a floured surface and form into large rectangle approx 25 mm thick. Cut into squares (approx 16-20) and put on baking paper lined tray. Bake for 12- 15 mins or until golden brown. Cool on rack.
The choclolate cake is a fabulously easy recipe, all the ingredients get bunged into the food processor and blitzed til smooth, making it a cake that my son can (and now has!) make. It is rich and dark in flavour, a real favourite. I do however find that the prescribed recipe doesn't get the cake batter as smooth as I think it needs to so I have taken to adding between 1/4 and 1/2 c milk to get it to the right consistency. The cake still turns out wonderfully. I also bake it in a ring tin, for at least as long as Nigella suggests, often longer. I have taken to baking this one on bake rather than fan bake as I think it turns out better, even if it takes a little longer to cook.
Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup caster sugar
1teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup best-quality cocoa
170g soft unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons good-quality vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream

Special equipment: 2 (each 8-inch diameter) layer tins with removable bases, buttered

6 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
80g unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract
Take everything out of the refrigerator so that all ingredients can come room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put all the cake ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and soda, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla, and sour cream into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter. If you want to go the long way around, just mix the flour, sugar and leavening agents in a large bowl and beat in the soft butter until you have a combined and creamy mixture. Now whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, vanilla, and eggs and beat this into your bowl of mixture.
Divide this batter, using a rubber spatula to help you scrape and spread, into the prepared tins and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, which should be about 35 minutes, but it is wise to start checking at 25 minutes. Also, it might make sense to switch the 2 cakes around in the oven halfway through cooking time. Remove the cakes, in their tins, to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of their tins. Don't worry about any cracks as they will easily be covered by the frosting later.

To make this icing, melt the chocolate and butter in a good-sized bowl either in the microwave or suspended over a pan of simmering water. Go slowly either way: you don't want any burning or seizing.
While the chocolate and butter is cooling a little, sieve the confectioners' sugar into another bowl. Or, easier still, put the icing sugar into the food processor and blitz to remove lumps.
Add the corn syrup to the cooled chocolate mixture, followed by the sour cream and vanilla and then when all this is combined whisk in the sieved confectioners' sugar. Or just pour this mixture down the funnel of the food processor onto the powdered sugar, with the motor running.
You may need to add a little boiling water, say a teaspoon or so, or indeed some more confectioners' sugar, depending on whether you need the frosting to be thiner or thicker. It should be liquid enough to coat easily, but thick enough not to drip off.
Choose your cake stand or plate and cut 4 strips of baking parchment to form a square and sit 1 of the cakes, uppermost (i.e. slightly domed) side down.
Spoon about 1/3 of the frosting onto the center of the cake-half and spread with a knife or spatula until you cover the top of it evenly. Sit the other cake on top, normal way up, pressing gently to sandwich the 2 together. Spoon another 1/3 of the frosting onto the top of the cake and spread it in a swirly, textured way (though you can go for a smooth finish if you prefer, and have the patience). Spread the sides of the cake with icing and leave a few minutes until set, then carefully pull away the paper strips.


Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

I've come here a few times via Foodlovers and just thought that I'd finally comment.

Love your blog and have plans to try out a few of your recipes!

Your cheese scones look yummo - I love cheese scones but never are able to manage to get them as lovely and light as my Mum did. Perhaps I'm mixing them a tad too much. That's hard to resist!

Cheers, wilm

Rhyleysgranny said...

Your scones look delish. I love old fashioned choccie cake. Did you make it in one Bundt pan? Looks lovely

Thinking About Food said...

The cheese scone is a more forgiving beast I find, I have started making it a lot more as I have never been very good at making scones, but this works well. It is essential not to over mix, just bring it together and get it on the tray (which is why I often cut them rather than using a circle shape cutter, which requires reworking the dough!)

Brenda, the choccy cake is just a plain jane ring tin, with some artistic swirls in the icing! I cant help myself!

Teresa said...

Those scones look delicous and I wish I wish I could have a slice of the chocolate cake. Both look amazing.

Nickki said...

Wow, your scones do look delish. I love cheese scones.

And that cake looks to die for! It looks gorgeous made in the bundt tin. Nigella's old fashioned chocolate cake is just the best.

hungryandfrozen said...

Mm, that cake is one of my favourites, though all her chocolate cakes are amazing. And aren't you nice! I bet the builders loved working there lol.

Coby said...

I agree with Nickki, Nigella's OFCC is my mostest favourite! I just adore savoury scones too, and I recon it was a lucky day for those tradies!

Aaliyah said...

Your scones looked so tasty when I was making my rounds on the Tuesday's with Dorie posts and I didn't see the post for this week but the scones caught my eye and I had to read on and check it out!

What a lovely thing to do for them. :) I am going to try out the scones and post my results later this week. I am wondering if two teen girls will be my taste testers lol...I am sure they will not have any trouble saying yes.

See you next week!

Unknown said...

that looks delicious! superb :D
thanks for sharing this !

great blog & hope to hear from you soon,

Monika ♥